Women’s liberation is one of the most outstanding achievements in history that has been achieved regarding how women struggled for it. This has been achieved courtesy of some great women who worked and did extraordinary things to ensure society treated women equally. Women would be restricted to some things and movements within their domestic space. They would be assigned roles (housewife responsibilities) that bound them to some privileges like employment, education, owning property, and access to public spaces. “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, “A Jury of Her Peers” by Susan Glaspell, and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman are three memorable brief stories that share common subjects of household space, women’s restriction, and the depiction of marriage. These stories, set within the late 19th and early 20th centuries, give bits of knowledge into the restricted parts and conditions of ladies amid this period and their battles for freedom. By comparing these stories, able to perceive their one-of-a-kind points of view on these topics and their backhanded commentary on turn-of-the-century sees of marriage and separation.
Within “The Story of an Hour,” the hero, Mrs. Louise Mallard, encounters a brief minute of freedom inside the limits of her domestic. After learning about her husband’s passing, she withdraws to her room, mulling over her newly discovered flexibility. Louise’s husband dies of a fatal railroad accident, as explained by Chopin in her story as the news was given to Louise (Khadafi 138-157). This room becomes a typical space where Mrs. Mallard can investigate her possess wants and yearnings, unlimited by the societal desires put upon her. She starts believing that her husband’s death is releasing her from the confines she was going through in her marriage life. Louise starts feeling joy and anticipation in her life. She thinks that her freedom is short-lived, as her spouse returns out of the blue, driving her awful downfall. It turns out the news was not legit, and the whole time, it was a mistake; hence the husband is alive. Her freedom is now gone. The joy that she had before is no longer. This makes her uncomfortable and shocked that she collapses and dies. Through this story, Chopin offers an evaluation of the choking nature of marriage and the restrictions it forces on ladies, indeed, inside the assumed asylum of their possessed homes.
“A Jury of Her Peers” by Susan Glaspell to investigates the topic of control inside household spaces. The story takes after some ladies (Mrs. Peter and Mrs. Hale) examining a wrongdoing scene in a farmhouse before being chased away by other men who are still investigating the crime scene. As they assemble proof, they come to get the harsh conditions the female suspect, Minnie Wright, persevered in her marriage (Chakravarti 480-402). Minnie Wright has been accused of killing her husband, Mr. John Wright. Through their perceptions of the ignored and confined domestic, the ladies reveal the mental and passionate imprisonment that Minnie experienced. This control is symbolized by the perished canary and the main “jury of her peers,” who eventually empathize with her situation. According to the ladies, Mrs. Minnie was undergoing a difficult time that affected her psychologically due to abuse by her husband. Therefore, the torture and abuse might have fueled her to do the fatal act. Glaspell’s story evaluates the harsh nature of certain relational unions and highlights the significance of understanding and solidarity among ladies in confronting such restrictions.
“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman assists with women’s restriction inside the household circle. The story is described by an anonymous lady enduring postpartum misery, limited to a room embellished with a yellow backdrop. As the story advances, the woman’s mental state falls apart, and she gets fixated on the wallpaper designs. She believes the yellow wallpaper has a woman struggling to escape it (Raouf et al. 130-136). However, the husband, John, despises this arguing it is her condition. The room symbolizes her control and the societal limitations put upon her as a lady. In addition, the story delineates the harmful impacts of the patriarchy and the pretentious demeanor toward women’s mental and enthusiastic battles. Gilman’s story evaluates the winning sees of marriage and the harsh nature of the residential space for ladies.
These stories collectively examine women’s parts and conditions amid the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For instance, in the story “A Jury of Her Peers,” Mrs. Peter and Mrs. Hale were denied the investigation of the murder case because they were women (Chakravarti 480-402). This shows the inequality that women faced during this era. The psychological torture that women like Minnie and Louise faced is just an example of the damage level women were facing in their lives. The isolation of women is seen as a critical problem that may result in mental disorders if not looked at keenly. These endings propose that the demanding nature of certain relational unions can lead to negative results and the requirement for freedom.
In a nutshell, “The Story of an Hour,” “A Jury of Her Peers,” and “The Yellow Backdrop” all investigate the subjects of household space, women’s control, and marriage. Through their one-of-a-kind viewpoints and stories, these stories shed light on the restricted parts and conditions of ladies amid this period and their battles for flexibility and independence. By analyzing these stories together, we pick up a more profound understanding.
Chakravarti, Sonali. “Wanted: Angela Davis and a Jury of Her Peers.” Political Theory 49.3 (2021): 380-402.
Raouf, Chalak Ghafoor, and Helan Sherko Ali. “The Helpless Angel in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper.” International Journal of English Language & Translation Studies 6.3 (2018): 130-136.
Khadafi, Bima Iqbal. “Feminist and Pessimist Existentialism in Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”: A Systemic Functional Grammar Analysis.” Journal of English Language Studies 6.2 (2021): 138-157.